Chicago Allied Arts, Inc.

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Chicago Allied Arts, Inc. was an organization formed in 1924 for the purpose of presenting small-scale ballet and music performances in Chicago. In doing so, it brought together Eric De Lamarter's Solo Orchestra and the Ballet Intime of Adolph Bolm. Modeled somewhat along the line of Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, the project was to be funded through the guarantees of individual sponsors. Composer John Alden Carpenter was one of the group's founders and took the lead in organizing the programs and attracting additional donors. Using his social connections, Carpenter assembled a list of supporters that included many of the most prominent names in Chicago society, including members of the Aldis, Goodman, McCormick, and Ryerson families. The earliest programs put on by Chicago Allied Arts also featured international guest stars, such as the ballerina Tamara Karsavina and flamenco dancer Maria Montero to augment the dance ensemble.

The first program, which took place at the Eighth Street Theatre on November 27, 1924, set the pattern that would be followed in subsequent seasons. The initial half consisted of orchestral works led by De Lamarter, as well as a performance of Leo Sowerby's Rhapsody, conducted by the composer. The ballet portion of the program offered the Chicago premiere of Foyer de la Danse, a ballet by Bolm, set to the music of Emmanuel Chabrier. The remainder of the dance pieces consisted of divertissements performed by Karsavina, Bolm, and soloists from Bolm's troupe, including Ruth Page, Marcia Preble, and Caird Leslie. Russian-born scenic designer Nicolas Remisoff, who had developed a reputation through his earlier work with the Chauve-Souris cabaret, created the front curtain, costumes, and sets for the entire first production, as well as the group's logo. These initial performances were met with critical praise and Chicago Allied Arts, Inc. quickly followed up with a second program in January 1925. The musical selections included performances of Stravinsky's Pribaoutki song cycle, sung by Mina Hager, and works by Arnold Schoenberg and Arthur Bliss. The major critical successes of the program, however, were a new ballet to Manuel de Falla's El Amor Brujo, choreographed by Bolm, featuring Montero and designs by Rollo Peters, and the world premiere of another Bolm ballet, The Rivals, which was a reworking of a Chinese legend to an original score by Henry Eichheim, in which Page had a significant part

Much of the same creative team reunited for a second and third season of programs (1925-1927), which perhaps were even more progressive in outlook. Among the highlights were a fully staged performance of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, the premieres of several new Bolm ballets, including Bal des Marionettes (Erik Satie) and Visual Mysticism (Aleksandr Scriabin), Page's The Flapper and the Quarterback (Clarence Loomis), and a special gala performance for the visiting Queen Marie of Romania (November 14, 1926). Although plans for an ambitious new season were announced for March 1927, that program never materialized. In July 1927, it was reported that Chicago Allied Arts, Inc. was to suspend its activities for one year, but the organization, which had been responsible for presenting some of the most innovative programs of new music and dance to take place in Chicago, never reemerged.

From the guide to the Chicago Allied Arts, Inc. records, 1922-1929, (The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Chicago Allied Arts, Inc. records, 1922-1929 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Turbyfill, Mark, 1896-1990. Mark Turbyfill papers, 1911-1985. Newberry Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bolm, Adolf, 1894-1951 person
associatedWith Carpenter, John Alden, 1876-1951 person
associatedWith De Lamarter, Eric, 1880-1953 person
associatedWith Karsavina, Tamara person
associatedWith Page, Ruth, 1899-1991 person
associatedWith Remisoff, Nicolas person
associatedWith Turbyfill, Mark, 1896-1990. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Chicago (Ill.)
Performing arts sponsorship

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